Sesame Street’s beloved Big Bird was created by two gay lovers who lived together for over 50 years, Kermit Love and his partner Christopher Lyall. They created the original Big Bird from a Jim Henson sketch of those glass toy drinking birds that rock back and forth as they drip their beaks in a glass of water.
After barbs were exchanged about Big Bird between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential election, The Daily Beast ran a lovely piece about Big Bird’s gay dads:
Lyall and Love were partners in work and life for half a century and in the 1980s traveled with Big Bird to the White House for the annual Easter egg roll. The most momentous results of that presidential nexus were the grass stains on Big Bird’s outsize feet. Nobody could have imagined that this puppet might someday play even the smallest role in deciding who would occupy the Oval Office. “We’ll see,” Lyall says. The possible political impact of this 8-foot-2 yellow plumed character takes a turn from the ridiculous to the delightfully apt when you consider this: Big Bird was the product of a profound partnership between two men that was in every way a marriage save for in the strictly legal sense that the law until very recently forbade.
And hard as it is to believe, this lovely gay man who so influenced Sesame Street was in fact named Kermit Love. So. Cool.